The Subway brand is pleased to announce that it has recently reached the milestone of 5,000 stores open and operating in Europe, with the opening of a brand new store in a shopping centre in Livingston, Scotland.
The milestone opening highlights the more than £500m investment that Subway franchisees contribute to their local economies, alongside providing over 50,000 jobs in stores across Europe.
The first Subway store in the UK and Ireland opened in Brighton, UK in 1996, since then the brand has expanded its operations and increased its presence across Europe with stores now open in over 30 European countries, from Iceland to Russia. In the UK and Ireland there are more than 2,300 Subway stores, employing over 23,000 people.
As the largest Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) brand worldwide – there are more than 44,000 Subway stores in over 110 countries – the expansion of the brand across Europe continues at a fast pace, with 300 stores opening in the UK and Ireland alone throughout 2015. That’s an average of more than five SUBWAY stores opening every week.
Justin Goes, Regional Director – Europe for the Subway brand, commented: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be announcing the 5,000th Subway store in Europe. It is a fantastic achievement and reflects the strong entrepreneurial spirit of our franchisees who work hard in their local communities providing a great product and excellent customer service to all our customers.
“The Subway brand has an incredible support system for franchisees, which allows them to benefit from over 50 years of the brand’s experience.”
The new Subway store is in The Centre, a shopping centre in the heart of Livingston, and will serve hungry shoppers from the local and surrounding area. The brand new store covers an area of over 1,400 sq ft, seating more than 50 customers and employs 15 members of staff.
All Subway stores are owned by local businesspeople who operate their shops on a franchise basis. The franchisee of the new Livingston store is Haj Atwal. A seasoned franchisee, the new store marks Haj’s 16th with the brand, and he chose The Centre, Livingston as a location following its recent expansion and refurbishment.
Haj commented: “It feels fantastic to have opened the 5,000th Subway store in Europe. I started my career with the Subway brand over 15 years ago, when I opened my first store with my brother, Narinder in Edinburgh. Since then, we have gone on to open many more SUBWAY stores individually and together, with the support of the brand.
“We’ve grown our business alongside the Subway brand – it’s fantastic to see the franchise reaching this significant milestone and for my new store to have been the 5,000th store to open in Europe. It really is a great time to be part of the Subway brand family.”
One of the largest areas of growth for the Subway brand currently is the development of stores in non-traditional locations, such as on forecourt sites, within convenience stores, universities and hospitals. Partnerships with organisations including Welcome Break, Euro Garages, Applegreen and Sodexo have helped the brand to open more than 500 non-traditional locations in the UK and Ireland.
The UK and Ireland is the Subway brand’s third largest market, behind the US and Canada. In all, there are more than 15,000 international locations in over 110 countries outside of the US, now with 5,000 stores across Europe.
One of the key reasons to the success of the Subway brand is the support network and robust processes available to franchisees. Regional Development Agents and business consultants assist and mentor franchisees with site selection, leasing, design, construction, hands-on training, purchasing, operations, advertising, local store marketing and more. The support available to all franchisees has proved to be very successful with many franchisees investing in more than one franchise and becoming multi-store owners.
Over 70% of all new Subway franchises sold worldwide are sold to existing owners, a testament to the strength of the brand and the solid support offered to franchisees.
The Subway brand is a committed partner to the UK Government’s Public Health Responsibility Deal, and the only QSR to have endorsed all eight nutrition-related pledges.